Skier sorry for ducking rope
A ski season passholder is hoping his public apology for venturing into a closed section of Highlands Bowl last week will convince the Aspen Highlands Ski Patrol to return his pass to him.
Larry Moore, of Missouri Heights, was skiing a closed tract in the bowl on Jan. 10 when ski patrollers caught him and promptly pulled his pass.
“I was skiing a closed area and I was wrong to do it. The closed signs were clearly posted,” Moore said. “The ski patrol is trying to deter people like myself from doing that, and they asked me to write a letter to the editor and apologize. They don’t usually do it for skiing on closed runs, but they’re really trying to keep people off sections of the Highlands Bowl.”
Moore penned a brief letter of apology for his actions (it appears on page 9-A of today’s Aspen Times).
“Part of me getting my pass back, is contingent upon getting this letter published,” Moore said.
Kevin Heinecken, snow safety supervisor at the Aspen Highlands, said the ski patrol requires public apologies from a few offenders each season.
“Rather than take their pass for the year, which a lot of ski areas do, we’d rather educate the offenders and everybody else, for that matter,” Heinecken said. “So we asked for a public apology, and that seems like a reasonable way to do it.”
Still, Heinecken said offenders typically lose their pass for an extended period of time and are subjected to a plethora of skiing safety information. And, the patrol retains the right to yank a pass for the remainder season.
To date, Heinecken said six people have been caught on closed sections of avalanche-prone Highlands Bowl, four of whom were season passholders. Last season, only three people were apprehended.
“This year it has come to a head pretty quickly,” Heinecken said. “But this isn’t something we do for the marginal offender, this is for people who duck under well-marked ropes, showing wanton disregard for safety.”
Coincidentally, Moore said he has skied Highlands Bowl in the past. But on those occasions, Moore skied it with ski patrollers. On Jan. 10, he did not.
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Had Hailey Swirbul decided against going to Europe, she would not have finished with a career-best result in Friday’s World Cup opener. Yes, there was a time, and not long ago, when the U.S. ski team member and Roaring Fork Valley native questioned her desire to put on a race bib.